University of Sheffield

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University of Sheffield

On November 13, 2019, the University of Sheffield organized an international symposium, “Reducing Academic Flying,” to bring together expertise and discuss initiatives to shrink emissions through decreased air travel. Studies to date suggest that research-intensive universities’ carbon emissions from flying may represent 10 – 20% of total greenhouse gas contributions.

Yet the issue is often ignored, marginalized, or problematized. Particular gaps in understanding identified by conference organizers include: how flying shapes academics’ identities; flying and universities’ international reputations; and personal and institutional benefits of academics flying less. Presenters and participants were welcome in person and through remote access.

Outstanding talks included:

  • Joseph Nevins, “Flying less as anti-violence practice”
  • Kim Nicolas, “Adopting, implementing, and scaling up on flying less”
  • Monika Buscher, “Why do we fly? A discussion of the compulsions and affordances of proximity and connected presence in academic work”
  • Sion Pickering, “Improving data reporting and stakeholder engagement to support organizational change.”

Talks were followed by a collective discussion on developing research agendas and pathways to effective reduced flying action.